Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Monday, April 14, 2008

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One of the main gripes of many freelancers is dealing with problem clients. But when you deal with a client who is a creative--and also gives you a problem--it's just kind of...hard. You'd think as creative freelancers, we're all in this together.

Not for all of us.

Case in point: I accepted some work for a fellow creative to edit some of the content on his site. The whole time, in addition to offering a very affordable price, he said he was pleased with my work. When I had other obligations and told him when I would start his project and that I wanted to be honest and upfront before I started about my availability, he said he was fine. Part One of the project had passed and was paid for. Wonderful. He told me about doing more work and I emailed to confirm finishing the first part and about moving on. Never heard back.

I planned on emailing him this week so we could pick up and get back on track but didn't have a chance. Not only had he emailed me to tell me he didn't want to continue--he was rude about it, too. Then everything came out--he wasn't so pleased, he felt he was rushed...all the things he couldn't communicate before when things were going his way.

Sometimes you have to look at the way a client communicates (and in my case, you can then see why their communications need so much help!) to see that they're not someone you'd like to work with. Instead of emailing me to duck in, to see if he missed an email or something, he rudely cut me off. He assumed.

And boy, he made an ass of himself.

I would never treat a client like that, let alone a fellow colleague!

But that's fortunate for you, dear readers. You can learn from my experiences, I hope. Let's just hope that should you deal with a fellow creative, you remember that the lines of professionalism still exist, and you should stay within them!

This guy didn't know a line from...an "m dash."

As for this poor fella, he made a fool out of himself. I was going to refer him to a huge client of mine, but I'm glad he showed his true colors in time. Things have a way of working themselves out like that. Even though I got axed, so to say, it doesn't count if it's by someone rude and unprofessional.

Just goes to show you how you don't want to do business! And it makes you appreciate those out there who are polite, who are respectful and who realize that professionalism is key even when you get to work in your PJs!

link | posted by Kristen at 12:11 PM |

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